NEW YORK, April 15, 2015 – Maine Red Claws Head Coach Scott Morrison was today named the winner of the NBA Development League Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year award, as selected by his fellow NBA D-League head coaches.
In his first season as Red Claws head coach, Morrison led the team to a franchise-best 35-15 record, tied for first in the NBA D-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors. Additionally, the team secured its first East Division Championship and the top overall seed in the 2015 NBA D-League postseason, winning eight of its last 10 regular season games. Maine topped the NBA D-League with a 20-6 record in front of its home crowd at the Portland Exposition Building.
The Red Claws finished the season ranking second overall in made three-pointers (695) as well as fifth in assists per game (23.0) and three-point shooting percentage (.370). Maine outscored its opponents by almost five points (106.0ppg to 101.1ppg) during the regular season.
Morrison was selected to helm the Eastern Conference Futures team in the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Game where he coached Red Claws’ Chris Babb and Tim Frazier to a 129-94 victory. The pair went on to earn GATORADE Call-Ups to the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively. Additionally, Morrison had the opportunity to coach six members of the Boston Celtics on assignment, including Marcus Smart, who was the highest-drafted NBA rookie to play in the NBA D-League this season.
“Scott did an outstanding job in Maine this season,” said Malcolm Turner, President of the NBA D-League. “He embodied what it means to be a successful coach in this league – his team got wins, his players earned Call-Ups to the NBA, and he was able to provide valuable in-game development opportunities for a number of assigned NBA players. We join Crustacean Nation in extending our congratulations on a record-breaking season for Scott and the Red Claws.”
The Red Claws faced the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference, during the first round of the playoffs, falling in two games to the reigning NBA D-League Champions.
A native of Canada’s Prince Edward Island, Morrison was named Red Claws head coach in September 2014. Prior to his hiring, he served as the head coach at Canada’s Lakehead University, where he led the team to its first Ontario University Athletics Championship in 2011 and to the Canadian Inter-University Sport championship in 2013. Morrison also serves as an assistant coach for Canada’s Junior National team.
“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of the entire Red Claws organization,” said Morrison. “I want to thank the rest of the D-League coaches for acknowledging our hard work in Maine this season, and Coach Stevens and the Celtics for providing me the opportunity to coach in Maine.”
The award is named for the late Dennis Johnson, an NBA Legend, Naismith Hall-of-Famer and former Austin head coach. During his playing career, Johnson won three NBA titles with the Celtics and Seattle SuperSonics, played in five NBA All-Star games and was named to the All-Defensive First Team six times. He was in his third season coaching in the NBA D-League when he passed away.
All-Time Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year Award Recipients:
2014-15: Scott Morrison, Maine Red Claws
2013-14: Conner Henry, Fort Wane Mad Ants
2012-13: Alex Jensen, Canton Charge
2011-12: Eric Musselman, Los Angeles D-Fenders
2010-11: Nick Nurse, Iowa Energy
2009-10: Chris Finch, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
2008-09: Quin Snyder, Austin Toros
2007-08: Bryan Gates, Idaho Stampede
2006-07: Bryan Gates, Idaho Stampede